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Structure-borne sound transmission through resiliently suspended ceilings in timber frame floors

Su, Shenzhi


Shenzhi Su


Resilient bars provide cheap, effective sound insulation. They are increasingly popular in timber floor/ceiling assemblies in the UK following the upgrading of Building Regulations requirements. However, the behaviour mechanisms providing resilient bars with their insulating properties are not well understood. The effects of specific detailed features on their performance are assumed or estimated empirically. Myths relating to property-performance correlation prevail among various product manufacturers.
Previous experimental studies revealed either overall effect or only covered the stiffness in the vertical direction. Spring and rod models used elsewhere also failed to predict three-dimensional, asymmetrical facets of resilient bar behaviour.
This research investigated the influence of various three-dimensional resilient bar features through examining hypotheses: resilient bars act as springs (either vertical, bending, cantilever or spring hinge), or stiffeners. As these hypotheses are associated with certain material and geometrical features, the results revealed each's influence and relative importance. Three types of test were designed: vibration transmission, apparent stiffness and modal tests. Two representative but distinctly different resilient bar products were chosen as test subjects, which covered the features of interest and involved controversies. Vibration transmission tests were conducted on a series of configurations based on small-scale structures, which could not only demonstrate overall performance but allow detailed parametric investigations. Apparent stiffness tests on small samples enable isolation of spring effects so that their individual contribution could be evaluated. Modal tests revealed how resilient bars modified the vibration modes of the attached plate. By synthesizing the data from the above three angles together with data in the literature, the influence of key features was inferred and evaluated. Mass-spring-mass modelling and statistical energy analysis were carried out which enhanced understanding of the system's behaviour. The findings led to an optimised resilient bar design and a patentable acoustic hanger system. The latter was prototyped and tested on a floor/ceiling assembly. The results showed that it was more advantageous than current resilient bar systems.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 11, 2014
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Resilient bars; sound insulation; timber floor/ceilings; vibration transmission; apparent stiffness; modal tests;
Public URL
Award Date 2009-10